Cowboys Scoop: Hardy, Dockett, Romo + Dez

Dez is the headliner today, of course. But has Premium scoop from inside Valley Ranch on Dallas' thoughts on free-agent D-linemen Greg Hardy, Darnell Dockett and Chris Canty - and a heads-up on Tony Romo news, too.


If you read CHQ, you know the deal and you know the drill: Cowboys COO Stephen Jones tells us to expect the Cowboys to to apply the franchise tag to wide receiver Dez Bryant by today's deadline. But we all know that it only marks the beginning of negotiations that started accelerating again last Tuesday, and we now know, also included a visit on Friday.

"I still think that it probably would be a stretch to think that we would have (a "Cowboys For Life'' contract) done by Monday and beat the franchise-tag deadline," Jones said. "It looks like we're eyeing a franchise tag on Dez, but (that) certainly won't stop us from working hard to get a long-term deal."


I can tell you with first-hand assurance that Dez is intentionally laying low here; in retrospect, folks should see the wisdom in staying in a foxhole while all those errant bullets were flying. Click here for a collection of all the good stuff on Dez.

Our conversation with Stephen Jones also revealed Dallas' plans and ongoing efforts with DeMarco Murray and the "Shop-And-Drop'' and with Cole Beasley and the two-way motivation. You read those stories first here on CHQ ... we'll keep you posted 24 hours a day on these stories and more.


For instance ... this would quality as "more.''

This is a justifiably sensitive time in the NFL for domestic-violence cases. The Panthers are understandable reacting to Hardy's involvement in such a case that they are ready to part ways with their franchise-tagged player of a year ago after recording 15 sacks in 2013.

Hardy, who will be 27 this year, missed 15 games in 2014 after being charged with domestic violence, and spent the year on the Commissioners exception list (paid suspension). If not for his off-field issues, he would be a highly-sought-after player. Even with the charges against him dropped, he is still subject to potential league discipline, and that's a factor.

The Cowboys' position here? Sources tell CHQ that the front office is "open-minded'' about the possibility of bidding on the 6-4, 275-pound Hardy. It's a highly delicate issue; the Cowboys have no desire to appear to be too forgiving of whatever idiocy Hardy's been involved in, and from where we sit, we think it's important to investigate how extensive his "problem'' might be -- regardless of how the court system handled his case.

But "open-minded'' is news. And Greg Hardy is a player.


The Cardinals released defensive tackle Darnell Dockett on Friday, and naturally, because he's a "name'' player, a Cowboys association is made. Arizona thinks he can still play, but not enough to keep it from dumping him as a way to save $6.8 mil in cap room.

What do the Cowboys think? Dockett is 34. He missed the entire 2014 with a torn ACL. Dallas will not chase here.


The Cowboys also believe the Chris Canty ship has sailed. Originally a Cowboy, he was unproductive hire, was a contributor (at best) to a Giants title and underperformed in Baltimore, which cut him last week.

Canty, 32, only got on the field about a third of the time last year, recording 33 tackles and a half-sack. His value is such that Baltimore dumped him to create $2.66 million in salary-cap space.


I'm intent on keeping Dallas Cowboys fans way ahead of the rumors on this one ... so we avoid another Unicorn chase ... and here goes: Gossip is circulating that Romo is this spring undergoing another procedure on his back, and another on his knee.

False. And false.

I've spoken to the soundest possible sources regarding Romo's health, and it's all thumbs-up, including five-time weekly workouts throughout the offseason.


Now, there is a legit Romo story brewing, and we're likely only eight days away from it. Stay tuned.

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